I have a very positive and competent staff here at the city, and I’m blessed for this wonderful gift every single day; thank you to each and every one. My Assistant City Manager and I attended a conference in Kalamazoo for a couple days last week. It was a positive and informative experience that will bring value to Coopersville. By the way, the Kalamazoo city and community leaders are doing a fantastic job in the continuing revitalization of downtown; nicely done folks! And guess what? Findings in the European Heart Journal revealed that, “Being happy and naturally optimistic cuts the risk of developing heart problems.” Wow, who knew? What great news. Also the last time I checked, no asteroid a mile in diameter slammed into earth eliminating most life from its surface, I believe that’s very good news as well.
Guess what? I didn’t mention the main stream news, the politics in Washington DC, the demonstrations, the escalated and mean spirited rhetoric between well-intentioned people on both sides. I didn’t mention political spin, Supreme Court, Federal Court, Middle East, China, health insurance, pipelines, and all the other sources of noise and angst. Just mentioning the above items started making you agitated a bit, didn’t it? How did the first two paragraphs make you feel? Be honest.
We cannot change or dramatically impact the ENTIRE world. What we can do is make an effort to better our small corner of it by striving to better ourselves and recognize the good that does exist. Recently I read a statement by Ban Ki-moon – Former Secretary General of the UN:
I…reflected on a Confucian teaching that had been impressed upon me from a young age: “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.” I understood this to mean that if I wanted to contribute to the greater public good, I had to begin by working on myself; only then would I see progress radiate out from my personal circles to society at large.
Part of this celebration starts Monday night. We have special guests Rep. Roger Victory and District Director Amanda Price to honor Coopersville resident Ruth Brifling on her 106th Birthday. Yes, 106 years young. Yes, this is an example of embracing the richness that surrounds us each day. How wonderful that we can all be a part of this recognition! I hope you’re smiling.
The balance of the council meeting will be the routine practice of paying our bills. We also have the Consent Agenda back again for possible action. For those that miss golf during the doldrums of winter, there is the West Michigan Golf Show at DeVos Place this weekend. Even if you don’t like golf, it’s something different to do and more importantly, everyone is in a good mood. Have a great weekend, open your hearts, and be SAFE!
Master Plan Update
At the Planning Commission meeting on Monday, Feb. 20 (6PM) McKenna and Associates will be making a presentation to the Planning Commission on what was learned during the January focus groups. The consultants will also be providing a broad overview on the direction the master plan could go in and asking for feedback. If you’re available on Monday, Feb. 20, there should be some good information shared and discussed at this meeting.
Yes, it’s that time of the year when the anticipation of bringing everyone together for great food, excellent conversation, and the chance to celebrate all that is positive about Coopersville gathers momentum. This year the event will be a bit earlier in the year than in the past, March 9, 2017 at 6:00 PM. We’ve already had over 120 RSVPs to date (capacity is 180) and we would be most pleased to receive yours as well before February 23. Tickets and table sponsorships are available at http://tinyurl.com/CelebrateCoops2017. As always, the silent auction is looking for donations to raise money for NEO Forum. Please mark this date on your calendars, it’s always a special event!
March 18, 2017 is the scheduled date for the yearly Community Expo sponsored/organized by the Coopersville Area Chamber of Commerce. Most years, the city rents a booth with our elected officials attending along with available staff to answer questions and provide information concerning projects, recreation opportunities and other related topics. As the date approaches more details will be provided by Anisa or myself.
Water Project Phase I – No New Update to Report
Just before the holidays, the City of Coopersville, Allendale Township, Polkton Township, and Ottawa County met to essentially re-establish where the city stands on this project. Allendale Township has a new supervisor so part of the meeting was also to make sure everyone was up to speed and to compare notes on any pending revisions to the original project. FYI, the meeting was positive and all parties appear to be in unison again.
We are to meet again soon once the city determines exactly the direction they want to pursue on the Water Project – Phase I. What I mean by this is that we have to determine what level of “risk” long-term we want to assume financially. The city needs a $12 million upgrade to its water system to prepare for the future and to increase reliability and redundancy to the current system. A $12 million upgrade also requires firm commitments from its largest water customers.
A lesser option at $5-6 million can provide basic improvements and less risk financially but does not provide the strong reliability and redundancy assets that the $12 million option provides. And that is the core discussion that is taking place. At this time, my goal and commitment is to have a firm decision made before the third quarter of our fiscal year is reached (March 31, 2017) which also means the UAC will be busy and eventually the council will be requested to make a few substantive and heavy decisions.